The debate surrounding birth control pills and weight is a long-standing one. If you visit online health forums, you’ll see that most women complain about gaining weight with birth control pills, not losing it. Tri-Sprintec does not contain any ingredients known to spur weight loss; however, there is no reason to believe you cannot lose weight through diet and exercise while taking this pill.
Tri-Sprintec is an oral contraceptive manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals, an Israeli pharmaceutical company. This is the generic formulation for the brand name Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Both formulas include two ingredients: norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol. The “tri” in the product name refers to the three different levels of these hormones included in the pills’ 28-day cycle formulation.
Many women believe birth control pills will cause them to gain weight. According to MayoClinic.com, this isn’t likely to be true. Although birth control pills can cause you to retain water in your midsection and breasts, this isn’t actually added weight and should dissipate once your body adjusts to the hormone levels in your pill. The website also notes that the estrogen contained in your pill may make adipose cells—those containing fat—larger, but it can’t cause them to multiply.
MarieClaire.com interviewed Dr. Lee Shulman, an OB/GYN at Northwestern University, and asked about birth control pills and water retention. The question concerns the pills Yaz and Yasmin, specifically. Both formulas contain drospirenone, a form of progestin that directs your body to release extra sodium, preventing bloating and water retention. Tri-Sprintec does not contain this ingredient. However, regardless of how well they prevent bloat, Shulman warned that these pills should not be considered weight-loss pills.
There are no scientific studies correlating birth control pills with weight loss, let alone a specific pill such as Tri-Sprintec. Any evidence supporting this theory is anecdotal, likely based on one person’s experience rather than a controlled clinical study. The Weight-control Information Network lists eight medications commonly prescribed for weight loss, and none of them are birth-control pills or contain Tri-Sprintec’s ingredients, norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol. The WIN notes that although some prescription medications such as antidepressants can often act as appetite suppressants, birth control pills are not listed among these.
Any weight loss you experience while taking Tri-Sprintec is more likely to be a result of other activities in your life, such as dieting or exercise. If you’re looking to lose weight, talk to your doctor about setting appropriate weight-loss goals. Most of these goals can be accomplished with a healthy, balanced diet that reduces your intake of calories and saturated fats, along with regular exercise.